Clown Shoes

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Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #1,262
Ranked #7,009
4.14 | pDev: 8.21%
Clown Shoes
Massachusetts, United States
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EnderFett11
EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured moderately hard from a tall can into a snifter glass, forming two to three fingers of brown head before slowly fading to light lacing. Smell is not too intense bourbon, with maybe a teensy bit of pumpkin. Taste follows the smell, with a nice bourbon (not too intense which is common) with just a touch of pumpkin and even less spices towards the end. Wish there was more pumpkin, but still a really great tasting bourbon aged stout. Medium bodied with light carbonation, some sweetness that increases as it warms. Excellent bourbon aged stout overall.

Nov 02, 2020
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oberon from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

My first pumpkin infused beer of the fall.Pours nearly jet black except for some ruby highlights when held up to the light,a full one finger creamy mocha colored head atop.Roasted pumpkin and pie spice stand out along with some dark roast.Upfront pumpkin pie spice followed some roasted elements and earth,a light smattering of rye whiskey/booze lingers in the finish.If the feel was fuller and more lush this would be off the chain,as is it's pretty damn good.

Oct 07, 2020
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gordo (Clown Shoes) $ 10.00 (Including tax)/19.3 oz can ($0.518/oz). Purchased 9/23/20 from Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. Reviewed 9/30/20.
Can stamped on bottom “pkg 07/20/20”. In reefer at store. Stored at home at 42 degrees and served at 55 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Deep amber (SRM 15), clear.
Body – Ruby brown (SRM 24), opaque. When held to direct light, translucent with ruby showing at the stem.
Head – Large (Maximum five cm, aggressive center pour), pancho, medium density with a few rocks, short duration, diminishing to a three to six mm crown and a thin complete cap.
Lacing – Fair. Torn band of mostly tiny bubbles.
Aroma – 4 – Initially a burst of chocolate followed by weak allspice. No malt, hops, no yeast.
Flavor – 4.5 – Begins with a slight chocolate pumpkin taste, lightly spiced with little cinnamon or ginger, just a bit of allspice and clove. No alcohol (10.5% ABV, as marked on the label) taste or aroma. It ends with some notes from the rye barrel, a bit dry. No diacetyl or dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 4 – Full, creamy, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4.5. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A good representative for the pumpkin-based imperial stout. As much as I like BBA brews, I think WhistlePig Rye barrels were the perfect choice for this – they ameliorate both the spices and pumpkin to the point of drinking a stout rather than a pumpkin pie slurry, and keep the sweetness down. Overall, something I will buy again – soon.

Sep 30, 2020
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Start drinking this beer at 50°+ to appreciate its full flavor.
Dark chocolate color with a 2F head in a Tulip glass.
Strong rye whiskey barrel aroma/ taste which overwhelms the pumpkin- spice flavor.
Sharp whiskey-like edge to the finish.

Great pumpkin stout. However, it’s unusual. If you don’t like whiskey, don’t drink this beer.

Sep 26, 2020
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AlCaponeJunior from Texas

4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well since I'm a big pumpkin beer fan, my review will be thusly skewed. Great beer, as big as the great pumpkin in Linus' mind. If only Charlie Brown didn't have to listen to Linus and Lucy. Or something profound like that.

Sep 08, 2020
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Mooslerfitness from Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

1st off this is a n amazing take on a pumpkin stout the whistlepig barrel definitely comes through a+ now what I would like 2 see is a pumpkin stout with lagavulin 16 that would be amazing

Aug 14, 2020
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mdlacey from Texas

4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This is in the highest tier of pumpkin beers.

1 pint beautifully labeled can at Dan’s Pizza in Webster, TX during Phase 1 of Wuhan virus reopening

L: unfortunately I had to pour it into a paper cup due to the pandemic. The surface is standard stout but no head.

S: Like the taste but very weak

T: I had to cave and give this a 5. It’s perfectly down the middle of sweet vs roasty bitter. The spice is perfect too: it’s not a lot, to keep the pumpkin foremost, but it’s the right amount so that you can’t forget it. And the pumpkin is right down the middle of too much and too little - maybe a little on the too little side to keep it on the subtle side.

F: surprisingly thin at first. Thickened up with more sips.

O: this was my 3rd can in the last few weeks. It’s a tremendous pumpkin beer. Not too sweet, not too bitter, not too pumpkin. It would pair well with a sweet dessert of any sort, from milk chocolate to pie (not pumpkin pie obv).

May 22, 2020
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Small pour. Pitch black color with a thin foamy head. Head retention is decent and lacing is good. Big pumpkin aroma with some roastiness. Big pumpkin flavor. Slight roasted malts. Very tasty. Medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Dec 25, 2019
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

26oz can poured into a goblet

A- pours black in color with a one finger creamy khaki head that has great retention

S- chocolate, black licorice and creme brûlée up front, followed by aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as roasted pumpkin flesh. Undertones of vanilla cream & bourbon. There’s also a pastry stout-like aroma throughout

T- chocolate and vanilla up front, followed by roasted barley and a hint of espresso. Mid-palate brings out the spices with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. The finish gives a nice barrel additional of barrel juice and oak. Lingers of spice cake, chocolate and oak

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and slightly warming finish

O- we’ll rounded spicing balances a solid barrel aged stout( well done

Dec 20, 2019
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.61/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 7/29/19. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours almost black with a creamy khaki head that falls leaving nice retention and lacing. The aromas have some pumpkin spices, but the spices aren't overpowering. Mild hints of maple. The bourbon basically goes unnoticed in the aroma department. Malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose for the most part. The bourbon characteristics are mild in the flavor department. More pumpkin spices. Some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Some chocolate. It's not that sweet. Solid malt backbone. Alcohol is well hidden. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's fluffy, smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a solid pumpkin stout, but not the best bourbon barrel-aged beer, in my opinion. The bourbon characteristics are pretty subtle and almost go unnoticed. The aromas and flavors are still enjoyable.

Dec 04, 2019
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SABERG from Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can from this years batch into the test glass
A - Chalkboard dark, hides all evidence of support for the off white frothy cap.
S - Dark chocolate, vanilla notes, pumpkin, a hint of spice, cinnamon, some clove as well. The barrel is forward and quite nice.
T - Follows the nose well, with a wonderful roast grain component that is not in the aromatics, coffee, cocoa, pumpkin, bourbon all play well.
M - A bit thin on the palate, this is the only detraction, sweet start, vegetal, element, is not off putting , nice vanilla touch from the bourbon barrel
O - A very good stout worthy of its reputation, I like the total package quite a bit

Nov 10, 2019
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.71/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 Pint can
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and is topped with less than an inch of tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

The smell is pumpkin spices and roasted malt. It has an alcohol smell as well. There is some very subtle caramel and vanilla.

The taste is pumpkin spice and alcohol. I am surprised at how boozy this beer tastes. Roasted malt creeps into the finish and lingers.

Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel

I'm surprised what a boozy mess this beer is given the good reviews. I don't hate it because I like boozy beers. I definitely though it would be better. Given the value or lack thereof, I will not be revisiting this beer.

Nov 08, 2019
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mynie from Maryland

4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz cans were kind of egregiously priced (9 bucks a can), but they came highly recommend by a salesman I trust (one day that fella's gonna give me a raw deal, and I'll let him have it on the pages of this very website!)

Anyhow, seems like a nice way to say goodbye to fall.

The pour is deep, nearly opaque ruby but surprisingly fizzy for its size. A decent little head sits on top.

Aroma is sharp imperial stout grain--pleasantly zippy and alcoholic along with some nice barely burn--mixed with a firm, but not overwhelming, dose of pumpkin pie spice. It's not nearly as much of a punch in the face as most contemporary, barrel aged stouts, but frankly I'm kind of burned out on those and it's nice to get something a bit more straightforward. The balance works quite well, and it's evocative of autumn in all the right ways.

The flavor is likewise nice, though not quite as firmly composed as the aroma led me to hope. Pie spice up front... and then all throughout. It smoothens the burn of the high-ABV malt, and while it's nice up front by the middle and end I wish there was a bit more stout complexity. At no point is it ever bad--not in the slightest. But it's just not interesting enough to warrant its price tag.

If you can find it marked down once the season ends, or if you're lucky enough to live near Clown Shoes that you can find this on tap (as I used to be), then it's definitely worth picking up. Otherwise, due to its price, I can't really recommend it. It's well made, but not *that* well made.

Nov 07, 2019
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep dark brown where no light passes. The beige head recedes quickly leaving only rim bubbles. Minor streaks for lace.

Deep semisweet chocolate. Light alcohol warmth. Slightly sweet. Touch of mocha.

The start is of darker malts. The alcohol is present throughout but not overwhelming. Lighter body than most in this category but the carbonation is mellow as well. The swallow is light while the finish has a strong presence of cinnamon along with the chocolate flavors.

Nov 02, 2019
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours an opaque black with a thick light tan head with good retention and decent lacing. Aroma is pumpkin pie spices and a faint touch of bourbon. Flavor is dark roasted malts, cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices, chocolate, and bourbon. Well hidden abv. Feel is smooth and creamy. Overall a great beer.

Nov 01, 2019
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TBoneJones from Texas

3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pitch black pour, nice clean head. Body appears rich.
Nose is terrific banana cream pie/ pumpkin spice/ hops.
Taste is nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, tobacco, and hops. Bourbon barrel bite is sharp and dry, with bitterness...there’s nothing sweet here. Cocoa notes appear after sipping awhile and stopping.
Feel is medium with very low carbonation.
Though not my favorite Halloween-season stout, this one is worth seeking because the aforementioned flavors are distinct. What started to seem complex ended up being decipherable, but right-on for the time of year.

Oct 25, 2019
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JacobusFavier23 from Texas

4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Pours a wonderful looking almost completely dark stout with a nice lacy thin head. Almost opaque in color.
S- Smells great. Nice earthy pumpkin, sweet dark chocolate, roasted nuts, and toasted malts.
T- Follows the nose. There's a very nice earthy pumpkin flavor throughout, sweet dark chocolate is there, followed by a nice roasted malt finish. Nice bitterness in the finish. Altogether very nice flavor wise.
F- Medium bodied. Very nice.
O- Very, very, very good "halloween" inspired imperial stout. The pumpkin stands out enough in the most natural and respectful way. I appreciate this stout and it gets me in the mood for the halloween season. Enjoyed thoroughly.

Oct 20, 2019
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jzlyo from Iowa

3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is pumpkins, spices/cinnamon and malts. The flavor is pumpkin, spices/cinnamon/mild cardamom, malts and a mildly acidic/creeping alcoholic finish.

Oct 14, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned 7/29/19
Pours a tan colored foamy fizzy semi dense 1 finger head, moderate retention, a little lacing, very dark jet black color

Nose light vegetal pumpkin, a bit fruity, some roasted malt and little char, burnt coffee and dark chocolate, mild vanilla and flash of baking spices and pumpkin pie spices, background has a bit of bourbon, more of the pumpkin and spices as it warms

Taste fair sweetness, rich creamy dark malts, cocoa and dark chocolate, big roasted malt and coffee notes, touch of nougat, baking spices and pie spice, magnum bitterness from spicy hops and the roasted malts, light pumpkin, again more vegetal but not too strong, a flash of bourbon if any, and light vanilla, drier finish, lingering spices, toasted pie crust like finish, more of the pumpkin and spices as it warms

Mouth is med to fuller bod, creamy, medium to lighter carb, only a flash of alcohol late

Overall mixed, thankfully the pumpkin and spice is not overpowering but at the same time it's barely there, same with the barrel, more bitterness than anything

Oct 06, 2019
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SawDog505 from New Hampshire

4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 16 tulip glass canned on 7/29/19. Pours near pitch black with a 2 finger sticky light brown head that leaves thick waves of lace as it slowly settles. 4.75

Smell is pumpkin, chai, nutmeg, cocoa, vanilla bean, clove, coffee, and some oaked bourbon. 4.5

Taste follows pumpkin, nutmeg, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, chai, and a nice healthy dose of warming bourbon. 4.5

Mouthfeel is pretty big, gentle carbonation, easy drinking for 10% ABV but bigger on flavor than most at this size. 4.5

Overall this is awesome, expensive at $9 a 16 oz can, but really awesome. Warlock from Southern Tier is no longer my favorite Pumpkin Beer. If you see this and you like barrel aged Stouts and Pumpkin brews this is must try. 4.5

Oct 06, 2019
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I... think this is my first new dark beer from Clown Shoes since they were acquired by Harpoon. I don't like Harpoon at all, so I'm going to disclose that right away and throw my bias right out there. CS was one of my first craft brewing outfits way back in 2010 or so, and I've been following them ever since. I've been skipping a lot of their stuff over the past few years, however, since a lot of it seems like it's treading similar paths to previous stuff, or just plain-ol' isn't interesting to me. But, a strong pumpkin stout with spices aged in bourbon barrels? I'll buy that for a dollar. Or... 6-7 dollars, I guess, to be more frank.

This pours a nice deep black with very little in the way of light penetration. Topped off with a cola/khaki colored head of dense, whipped foam that retains quite well and leaves behind excellent lace and legs, this really has all the makings of an awesome imperial stout. And, of course, who better to do this than Clown Shoes, whose BBA imperial stout program has long been the envy of most other breweries making dark/strong beer in the Northeastern US for over half a decade now? Yeah, it makes sense this looks great. Next category...

My fear going into this was that the barrel would either overtake the delicate squash-like, earthy pumpkin flavors, or that there just wouldn't be enough oak/spirit presence at all. I'm not sure why I was worried; maybe because these guys don't usually do too many adjunct stouts in barrels (there was that time they did their Pecan Pie Porter in barrels... maybe it was twice they did that, but I digress), but the nagging worry was there. Glad to say this hits the mark pretty spot-on, however, in my opinion. Has a nice warmth to it with some bourbon character along with nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. Perhaps a little clove and, of course, a helping of ethanol heat to elevate it. Leaving this out to warm a little bit starts giving me the autumnal, squash-like pumpkin note I crave, but it's really not there at first. Reminds me a little bit of Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout by Cape Ann, but obviously more than a few notches more intense. Sweet, spicy, and decadent... Gordo is certainly making a good impression.

On the tongue, this is just superb... oak barrel, char, smoky grains, light earthy squash note, and a dense helping of cinnamon and nutmeg all combine to make a lovely, evolving, and decadent dance occur on the palate. A bit of dark roast espresso and a helping of bitter baker's chocolate seal the deal here... this is a lot to chew on, but I'm thinking I'm up to the task. Warlock is my favorite pumpkin stout, but that's mostly due to its unique and uncanny flavor profile (which it carries over from its brother, Pumking). This one is a lot more chocolatey, though it misses a little of that vanilla/graham/pie crust thing Warlock does so well. However, for a bourbon barrel version, this is really on-the-mark. It's really creamy and rich, with a dense and warm profile that allows it to stand out. For a beer I went into with some amount of trepidation, this is sure impressing me. Not sure why I doubted them, but I should stop that.

Sep 14, 2019
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teromous from Virginia

3.24/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

From the bottom of the can: "pkg 213 07/29/19 09:54"
From the side of the can "1 Pint 10% ALC/VOL"

Appearance: It's a black beer with a large fizzy dark khaki head. The head is very fizzy but it maintains well.

Aroma: There is a candy scent similar to caramel but with a bit of a cola aroma intermixed. There is a bit of what smells like cinnamon but oddly a bit artificial smelling. It has a strong alcohol aroma. The aroma is not bad but it is just strange.

Taste: The beer has a charred flavor up front then it takes on a decent dose of cinnamon and a light bit of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a full body that is smooth and rather velvety. It has a very nice texture. There is a bit of heat to the beer and a touch of alcohol burn. The overarching character of the beer is how smooth it is.

Overall: The can calls this an "Imperial Pumpkin Stout Brewed with Spices & Aged in Bourbon Barrels." It does have a bit of a char character which could come from the barrels, and it is very smooth which might also be a product of the barrel aging. As a whole it doesn't taste or smell a lot like a Pumpkin Ale. There is some noticeable cinnamon but it smells a bit funny and tastes rather plain. Compared to other cinnamon infused stouts it is about average. I probably wouldn't buy it again but it is an enjoyable beer. It's worth trying if you like other cinnamon infused stouts but Pumpkin Ale enthusiasts will find it lacking. As a general stout it does very well. As a bourbon barrel stout it is missing a lot of character from the barrel.

Aug 24, 2019
Gordo from Clown Shoes
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 45 ratings